Monday, January 26, 2015

Passion!

This week's theme for Illustration Friday is PASSION so here's my contribution in RED HOT ink.



What are YOU passionate about?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Serendipity on Lincoln Road

I told him, "Meet me at Starbucks on Lincoln Road," and we made plans to be there at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday; HOWEVER, we didn't see each other until some time after 10.  While I was having a salted caramel latte and listening to live guitar music at an outdoor table at one coffee shop, he was hanging out at another. Apparently, there are two Starbucks on Lincoln Road these days...so a phone call and two coffees later, he joined me at the one on the corner of Lincoln and Meridian.

We had just begun to catch up when out of nowhere I hear someone shout my name behind me. I turn around and it's my old friend, Hector, who I haven't seen in years and he also happens to be a former student of Mr. DeMott. I asked him how he knew it was me and he laughed and said something about my red hair. Yes, there's no camouflaging "Scarlet" (for those of you who've been with me a while).




Mr. D (or Eddie, as he prefers to be called these days) thought I had set up the mini reunion, but no, it was just good old-fashioned serendipity. He made us laugh with some wild stories and he also shared some life lessons. I told him it felt like a "Tuesdays with Morrie" moment, only it wasn't Tuesday and he's far from being the Morrie type; he's in much better shape than Hector and me.

For thirty minutes before we reconnected, I kept looking at every old man that walked by, even the one with the cane, and kept thinking, nah, that can't be him! When he finally reached me all animated and looking more like a former classmate than a teacher, I realized he hadn't changed a bit. I asked him how he stays so young and he told me he prefers to see the best in people and focuses on the positive things in life. He's generous and adventurous and he appreciates art, walks and exercises daily, and enjoys what each day has to offer.

Oh, but the high school stories he told us...if he wrote a book, he'd be in trouble. lol

We spent almost three hours together drinking coffee, reminiscing and catching up. It was a magical morning. We even met a woman and her dog who jumped into one of our pics...not a photo bomber, per se, but close enough.



Lincoln Road on Miami Beach...there's never a dull moment.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ojos de Santa Lucia (Eyes of St. Lucy)



This is my version of the Lucy I remember with a little charm added here and there...and yes, that's an azabache on her necklace; after all she was a Cuban lover and we Cubans love our amulets.

The ALF is closing in less than two weeks and I'm taking an Accounting course to add to my resumé. I've also been working on commissioned portraits. Here's my latest, Doug (aka DUg) Pinnick, bass guitarist/singer/songwriter for the band, King's X.



Sometime this week I plan to meet with my favorite high school teacher who I haven't seen in over 30 years. He contacted me through Facebook to let me know he was in Miami and I can't let him go back to NY without at least having a cafecito with him on Lincoln Road. I'll tell you all about it in my next post.

Ciao y un abrazo fuerte, Ily xo

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Kaleidoscope Eyes, Dali and Dishes



I finished my John Lennon portrait a couple of days ago, and a friend suggested I share it with Yoko Ono. I normally don't do such things (I don't know how I'd feel if someone posted a drawing of my deceased husband on my Facebook page; I think I'd either be creeped out or appreciative, probably more creeped out if he hadn't been famous), but I figured why not? It may have brought a smile to her face...or maybe a little more paranoia into her world. Either would be fine as art is all about feelings.

Here is my "Dali in Bloom" portrait from late December.



I was finishing the sketch, saw a bird on my mother's patio and added it to the drawing. Then I had to accentuate the leaf and use a little grass green on the neck to make it work. My husband thought it was Robert Downey, Jr. and  was wondering why I gave him such a long mustache. He always has something to say about my subjects.

I bought my first vegetarian cookbook the other day and made a funky Italian dish (with a side of chicken for my husband and son). We had things we never tried before, like fennel and Fontina cheese. I was supposed to buy ready-to-use crepes, but the people at the market had no idea what I was talking about, so I settled for refrigerated crescent rolls...not as fancy but still edible. My daughter, who's on the caveman diet and is avoiding anything dairy, happily forced down the four-cheese meal and my son had half a stuffed roll with extra chicken. My husband was just happy to have food on the table.

This year is all about trying new dishes, working out and adding more fun things to my bucket list. How about you? Have you made any resolutions for 2015?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Edge of Seventeen

I worked on a Stevie Nicks portrait in the truck on the way to a hockey tournament in Ft. Myers last weekend and finished her two days later on the ride home. I've had the song, "Dreams," in my head ever since (although the title to this one is "Edge of Seventeen").



Btw, this is the beauty of colored pencils...no messy clean-ups, they're easy to travel with and if the quality's good, you'll get vivid colors.

I'm happy to tell you I sold another Marilyn print over the weekend to a wonderful musician named Charles Ogden.



He plays at a local restaurant on Canal Street every other Saturday night. If you happen to be in the Miami area and you love old rock songs, southern cooking and dining with a nice breeze under a tiki hut, Crackers is the place for you on 1/17. If you're not on a diet, you'll enjoy their fried bread pudding. I shared it with a few friends and it was heavenly. Anyway, let me know if you're coming and I'll reserve a spot for you at my table. I'd love to see you there!

For Christmas I received beauty products, a funky new teapot and a Kindle Fire. Between all the reading and drawing I do it's amazing I can work and have a social life. Must be the Cuban coffee that runs through my veins.

Wishing you a very happy new year full of love, peace and many magical moments! xoxo

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Celebrations

It's the most wonderful time of the year...to celebrate!

A friend's husband owns a hookah and set it up for us in their backyard so I could start my birthday celebration by scratching "a hookah experience" off my bucket list. I'm not a smoker but I wanted to see what it was like, and I actually found the apple shisha (flavored tobacco) to be very relaxing. It went well with the mint tea, Arabic music and enlightening conversation.


On Friday night Sandra (aka "Señorita") and I celebrated both our birthdays at a local hangout and amazing Cuban restaurant called Sabores (which means "flavors" in Spanish). Our friend, Luly, made us the best guava cheesecake and salted caramel brownies (to die for!).  Wish I had pics because they didn't last long.

Here are some of my favorite photos of the night, thanks to Jimmy of Jimmy's Journal for the great shots.




Singing and dancing to Motown music is always fun, especially when you're joined by a guy who can truly sing. "Baby, I need your lovin'...got to have all your lovin'..."



Last night I met with an old friend from the publishing company I used to work for. She bought one of my Marilyn prints for her boss for Christmas, and we had a mojito and appetizers and played ketchup. The Marilyn "Photograph" prints are still available, btw, if you're interested...just email me at ilyzu1216@yahoo.com.




More celebrations to follow now that my mother is feeling better and my father is back in town. Wishing you and yours a joyful holiday season and a lifetime of love and happiness! xo

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Photograph and Birthday

Today's my b-day and because I'm only 49 (not 50 yet), I haven't officially hit middle age. My children don't seem to think I'll live to be 100 so they believe I passed middle age about a decade ago, but I never listen to my kids when they talk nonsense. Also, if you google "middle age" you'll find it's between the ages of 45 and 65. I'm still good. 

Here's one of my latest colored pencil drawings, Marilyn in "Photograph," inspired by the Def Leppard song from 1983.



I'm also selling prints of this drawing, $25 on textured, high-quality paper and $45 for a gallery-quality giclée print, so if you're interested please e-mail me at ilyzu1216@yahoo.com.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day! xo